Responding to Hurricane Harvey

United Methodist conferences across the country are awaiting invitations to send teams to areas in Texas and Louisiana hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Here are ways that you can be of assistance today to those whose lives have been impacted.:


Here is the link to up-dated information on mission trips and trainings available. New mission trips have recently been posted and early response training opportunities are listed.

Health Benefits

2018 Health Benefits Plan
During the first week of October, the Center of Health will host HealthFlex workshops to provide in-depth information regarding the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and the Consumer Driven Health Plan (CDHP).   Information will be provided regarding the tax advantage savings accounts and vision & dental benefit choices.  For more information.

Finance & Administration Services

Form I-9 Update
On July 17, 2017 the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an updated Employment Eligibility Verification Form, Form I-9.  This new form revised “07/17/17 N” must be used starting September 15, 2017. The revisions to the new form include some changes to List C and the removal of the words “the end of” from the phrase “the first day of employment” in the instructions for competing Section 1. Employers should make sure Section 1 of the form is completed the first day of employment.

Multicultural Ministries

Ms. Erin Hawkins, guest scholar

Black Theologian Day is October 14
By Will Jones*

The late Bishop James S. Thomas initiated the first Black Theologian Day, during his time as episcopal leader of the East Ohio Conference, to promote the understanding of a Black theological perspective to a primarily Caucasian denomination in the United States.

All East Ohio Conference clergy and laity are invited to dive deeper into their faith and broaden their understanding by participating in Black Theologian Day 2017, to be held at Aldersgate UMC (North Coast District) in Warrensville Heights.  This year’s theme is Overcoming Fear, based on Romans 8:31.
For complete story and registration information.

Young People’s Ministries

Youth Service Fund Coin Challenge with a New Twist
Due to the overwhelming response the last couple of years for our Coin Challenge at Youth Annual Conference, (we raised $3,584.55 in 2017) we are needing to update our procedure. We can no longer find a financial institution that will accept all of the coins and the weight of all the buckets have become a bit overwhelming.

So, we are launching “Coin-a-Palooza.” Districts and local churches will now be encouraged to donate coins during any and all their special events throughout the school year.  The change will then be given to the District Youth Coordinators.  The coordinators will then send checks into the conference office, and we will keep running tallies through the year on the conference website.  The winning district will be recognized on Saturday of Youth Annual Conference in June.

Use this link to find the “Coin-a-Palooza” logo and a remittance form for contributions.

Thank you for supporting this fundraiser!

Youth Leaders Network Regional Coordinators
Five Regional Coordinators have been put into place to encourage local youth ministries. Coordinators are available to meet with youth leaders, volunteer or paid, and pastors to encourage vital youth ministry through helping with planning, visioning, goal setting, brainstorming and dreaming about how God is calling the local church to be in ministry with teens.  They are also in place to help connect youth ministries with one another in order to maximize resources of time, money and volunteers.  Each region is working on creating their own network of Youth Leaders as well.  These five coordinators have over 80 years of combined youth ministry experience and are currently serving local church ministries.  For more information.

UM Financial Credit Union

Updating Your Address
When in the middle of a move, don’t let your credit union fall through the cracks. Be sure to send in a Change of Address form to one of our branches so you will continue receiving your statements, up to date information, and UMFCU news. This form can be found on the website or requested from one of the offices: North Canton (800) 831-3972 or Cincinnati (800) 373-1059.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

September 5 , 2017 Resources
In this edition we feature:

  • Not Sure I Want to be Back: Thoughts on Returning from Sabbatical
  • After Charlottesville: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism
  • Forgiveness: Including Everything
  • Real Love is an Ability
  • 5 Techniques to Fight Back Your Inner Critic
  • Listings of our Spiritual Directors

Contact Us
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address, or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted, please contact Howard Humphress or use our quick contact form.

Media Center

The Media Center recently acquired the following resources:

Call the Media Center at (800) 831-3972 x 139 or send an e-mail to Browse the resource catalog at

Message in the Movies

photo by Sony Pictures/Affirm Films

All Saints  All Saints begins is a typical faith-based movie fashion with some corny dialogue and cartoonish parishioners. But then it starts shifting gears and keeps getting better and better. It’s one sneaky little comedy-drama and also one of the most under-reviewed films of the year. Do yourself a favor and try to see it before it leaves town.”

For full review by Rev. Bruce Batchlor-Glader

Classified/Items Available

  • Worship Pianist, Cambridge UMC
  • Executive Director, Great Plains Conference
  • Director of Student Ministries, Ashland Faith UMC
  • Children’s Ministry, Strasburg UMC
  • Worship Pastor, Strasburg  UMC

Details of the above classifieds/items wanted can be found here. 
To submit job postings and items available please email

Events – September 5-18

Follow this link to the events calendar. 
To submit a calendar event.

Dates to remember

To Subscribe

To subscribe please send your request to Lois Speelman.  Information from this E-News may be copied and used in your local church.

The next scheduled edition of the E-News will be September 18, 2017.  Deadline for submission is September 13.